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Sunday, June 29, 2008

A month's a long time in African politics

The voting public are a fickle lot. A month ago Zimbabwe's presidential elections came so close they had to go several recounts. Polled again this week the people apparently came out 85% in favour of Robert Mugabe. Obviously, they just needed to have a think about it.

Now that he's been sworn in he can jet off to Egypt to take part in an African Union meeting. Either he can't have read Martin Meredith's "The State Of Africa", which demonstrates that since independence most of Africa's leaders have shown marked reluctance to let go of power no matter what the electorate might say, and have tended to be at the greatest risk of being deposed when they made the mistake of going overseas on business.

Persuasion is no longer a valid option. It's to be hoped that some of his fellow African leaders have the decency to use the occasion to at least shame him.